B.J. Wagner, MS, possesses a unique blend of first-hand law enforcement experience and a deep knowledge of police policy and operating procedures, program evaluation, technical advising and procedural reviews. A noted leader in law enforcement policy, her 2019 review of the Austin Police Department resulted in significant departmental policy improvements regarding the city’s audit response and its capacity to capably deal with mental health-related situations. And, as the primary architect of the RIGHT Care-Dallas program, and engineer of many of Texas’ prison reentry systems, her work has led to the development of nationally recognized and internationally awarded law enforcement, criminal justice, crisis intervention and response systems.
In 2015, B.J. joined the Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute (MMHPI), leading its work in Smart Justice. In that capacity, she has helped expand its reach to larger behavioral and health systems and assisted communities across Texas to both increase prevention and intervention services and reduce chronic crisis cycles and justice involvement for people with complex healthcare needs.
In October of 2019, BJ was appointed by the University of North Texas Dallas through a unique relationship with MMHPI as the Interim Executive Director of the Caruth Police Institute and appointed as Executive Director in July of 2020. In this role, B.J. will set strategic goals and plans to shape the future of the Institute’s police training, education, academic offerings, and research, as well as determining the development of capacity for evaluation, policy analysis, professional consultation, and technical assistance.